By Smooth Talk and Flattery

Romans 16:17-20 ESV

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

The Judaizers

The early Christians were dealing with two different factions of false teaching. The first one had to do with Judaizers who were trying to convince the Christians that they needed to be more like Jews, and that they had to be circumcised (I assume males only), and that they had to obey and practice some of the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, and dietary laws and restrictions. So, Paul spent a great deal of effort in refuting that notion.

And we still have an element of Judaizers among us who are trying to convince Christians to be more like Jews. So they raise the Jews up above Christians as though they are superior to us in some way, and as though they are still God’s chosen people; as though they who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah are still God’s covenant people and as though we are to almost worship them, in reality, and that if anyone is accused of saying anything against them, even in teaching the truth of the Scriptures, that that person should be put to death. Just not biblical! Please read the noted Scriptures beginning with Galatians 3:16. Paul dispels that!!

For it is us who believe in Jesus Christ who are God’s covenant people, whether Jew or non-Jew by physical birth. And Jesus Christ is the promised seed of Abraham. And not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring. It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise. And if we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. And now Hagar corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.

[Gal 3:16, 26-29; Rom 9:4-8; Gal 4:22-31; Eph 2:14-18; 1 Jn 2:22]

False Christians and False Teachers

The second one had to do with false Christians and false teachers who had slipped in among the Christians. They were ungodly people who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (see Jude 1:4). And they were wolves in sheep’s clothing out to deceive the Christians by introducing to them destructive heresies, and many followed their sensuality. They had eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin, and they enticed unsteady souls (2 Peter 2:1-22).

[Matthew 7:15-23; Matthew 24:11-14; John 10:1-15; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 1 Timothy 6:3-10; 1 John 4:1-6; Jude 1:3-23]

And we definitely have such people among us today in very large numbers. And they are deceiving the minds and hearts of many who profess faith in Jesus Christ. For they are those who are teaching people that they can believe (usually not biblically defined) in Jesus, have all their sins forgiven (past, present, and future), and that heaven is guaranteed them when they die, regardless of what kind of lives they live on this earth.

They do not teach dying with Christ to sin and living to God and to his righteousness. They do not teach that we must repent of (turn from) our sins and follow Jesus in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). For they call that “works salvation,” but it is not. It is us, God’s people, walking in the salvation already provided for us on that cross, and walking by the faith which has been gifted to us by God, in the power of God.

So, how do we know who is telling us the truth and who is lying to us? How can we be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil? We have to not rely on other humans to tell us the truth. Now, we can learn from other humans, but we are to be those who are testing what we hear and read against the Scriptures (in context) to make certain that what we are being taught is what the Scriptures teach. And so we need to be students of the Scriptures who are being led by the Holy Spirit of God.

And we must daily be dying with Christ to sin and following our Lord in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), and walking in holiness and righteousness, and not in sin. For if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness and holiness and obedience to our Lord are not what we practice, then we don’t know God, he doesn’t know us, and we do not have eternal life in him, regardless of what faith we professed with our lips.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

My Sheep

An Original Work / June 24, 2012
Based off John 10:1-18 NIV

My sheep hear me. They know me.
They listen to my voice and obey.
I call them and lead them.
They know my voice, so they follow me.
They will never follow strangers.
They will run away from them.
The voice of a stranger they know not;
They do not follow him.

So, I tell you the truth that
I am the gate, so you enter in.
Whoever does enter
Will find forgiveness and will be saved.
Nonetheless whoever enters
Not by the gate; other way,
He is the thief and a robber.
Listen not, the sheep to him.

Oh, I am the Good Shepherd,
Who laid his own life down for the sheep.
I know them. They know me.
They will live with me eternally.
The thief only comes to steal and
Kill and to destroy the church.
I have come to give you life that
You may have it to the full…

They know my voice, so they follow me.

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